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Scientists invent the world's first light-powered cleaning robot

by:IMASS     2020-02-17
Recently, scientists in the UK and the Netherlands have developed a robot that can crawl like a caterpillar, and its power source is only a single constant light source. This design concept is very clever: they will generate bulges after installing longer polymer materials on a shorter frame. When purple LED lights shine on the materials in front of the bulges, this part will shrink, thus exposing another part of the material to the LED light source. In such a cycle, this small frame can move continuously. Team members said the invention could transport small items to narrow places or use it to clean the surface of solar cells. This technology relies on a photosensitive liquid crystal material, which can quickly change shape under the action of light. The researchers further transformed it to almost instantly deform under LED light, and when the light disappears, it returns to its original state. Although this polymer material looks transparent, it can completely block the purple light, so the side of the back to the LED light will not be affected. If you turn it upside down, the frame will move in the opposite direction. Although we have seen equipment that uses laser and solar energy as power before, this robot is the first device driven by light.
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